She's a well meaning and courteous neighbor... at least, from
a distance. As we go about our daily business, she goes about
hers as well. From a cosmic perspective, she's living and thriving
just over the next-door fence; she's just beyond the treeline.
From an earthly perspective, she's a mere 10,000 light years
Corinae. Comfortably situated in the Keyhole Nebula in the constellation
Carina, Eta remains one of the most massive and unstable stars
in the known cosmos. And she has been gloriously captured on
film by the Hubble Telescope over and over again (see below).
The picture on the very left was captured by the Hubble Telescope
just before 1996. This massive ejection of matter, this cosmic
explosion occurred sometime between 1835 and 1845... and it's
taken that long - 170 years - for the light to reach the planet
while we go about our daily individual and collective business
here on our rotating stellar sphere, Eta Corinae does what she
does best. She simply shines. The science and astronomy
communities estimate that Eta Carinae is one the brightest stars
in our known sky, radiating at an intensity that is 4 million
times brighter than the Sun. Yes, you read that correctly. 4
million times brighter than the Sun and approximately
150 times larger as well. It's surface temperature is estimated
to over 29,000 degrees C. That's approximately 5 times hotter
than the surface of our neighboring Sun.
do I share this bit of cosmic trivia with you today? Because
most likely we all find ourselves, from time to time, uncomfortably
(and sometimes, unconsciously) in our own psychological or emotional
rut. We wake up each morning to the same face, same
situations and same routine. It may not be exceedingly good
or bad. It's just what we know. It's what we're used to in our
daily existence. But all along our daily journey, there always
remains a tiny gnawing in the back of our mind, in the back
of that daily routine, that there should be and is more to this
recently found myself in this very place; this uncomfortable
and unconscious rut. I couldn't place two coherent sentences
together into a collective thought. I couldn't seem to glance
up from my daily calendar of family activities to simply ponder.
That is, until I came across Eta Carinae. Eta has existed, just
beyond the realm of our awareness and our knowledge, long before
we even knew to look to the skies. And she will outlive us all.
She is, however, burning her nucleur fuel at such a rapid rate
that even she is estimated not to survive longer than a few
million years. Astounding, isn't it? The awareness of her existence
and all that we are still unaware of in our world and cosmos
puts our petty grievances and our worries about tomorrow or
next week and our anxiety about our daily journey into a whole
new realm of powerful perspective.
Whether it's cosmic, planetary or personal, perspective can
lead us out of that personal rut and into a new path, a greater
understanding of our place and calling in this glorious and
wondrous Life. Brushing elbows with Eta Carinae (even from a
few billion miles away) would instantly annihilate all that
we have come to know and become as a species on this tiny little
stellar speck. And the same could be said about Eta, if she
should encounter a black hole. And yet, we all seem to wonderfully
coexist in this ever expanding universe. None of us lesser or
greater than one another (whether human or radiated matter).
None of us more less or more important than one another in the
great mystery and journey of Life.
friend, we've been blessed to be given ringside seats to this
great unfolding and revelation of Life. We just need to remind
ourselves to glance up from our daily planner - from time to
time - and look upward. And look inward. Whether we realize
it or not, we ultimately create our personal rut and
we can choose to remain in it or accept the the invitation given
freely to each of us: to live a life that radiates at a similar
intensity as our neighbor Eta Carinae.
time this week to look heavenward. Marvel and speculate at the
happenings in nearby and distant galactic neighborhoods. Then
take that wonder and rediscover the marvel and speculation that
lies before you as your Life.